Bradley was not available to the media after Friday's win, but even then Kentucky coach Tubby Smith wasn't overly concerned about the injury. "Everything checked out fine, just like I thought it would," Smith said Saturday.
"I know he was a little rattled when it happened, but he can take it," Kentucky forward Sheray Thomas said. "He is back to his normal self now. He's making jokes and a lot of noise. Now you can't get him to quit talking."
Bradley had 11 points, three assists, four rebounds and two steals against Villanova. Smith knows the Wildcats need another stellar effort from him today to offset Kansas' strong guard play. "Ramel has been a real difference-maker for us the last few weeks," Smith said. "When he is not shooting well outside, that is when we seem to struggle. But he's the quarterback of our team. He's active and he creates energy when he is pressing the ball as well."
Today's game also is somewhat personal for Bradley since Kansas junior point guard Russell Robinson is a New York City product like him. The two played against each other in high school as well as AAU tournaments. "We have battled. I know him well," Bradley said before noting that his team lost to Robinson's in his last AAU game. "I pretty much got the best of him, but this is a game you really want to win to get bragging rights back home. We both know a lot of the same people. If you get beat, it will be talked about."
That's not the only talk that might go on. "There might be a little talk on the court as well, but it will all be friendly," Bradley said. "It will be fun, but competitive. That's how our games always have been."
NCAA fan: Kentucky guard Joe Crawford admitted he watched Ohio State's dramatic comeback win over Xavier at Rupp Arena on Saturday before the Wildcats left for practice. "It was crazy how they came back. Stuff like that happens now," Crawford said. "I am just hoping they didn't use any of our luck since they were playing at Rupp Arena. I wish we could have had some of the breaks they got."
Crawford hopes a game like that shows everyone that Kentucky could knock off Kansas.
"We are not even thinking about next year. Our focus is all on Kansas. Maybe nobody else thinks we can win, but we do," Crawford said.
Best effort: Kentucky is the winningest program in college basketball and Kansas ranks third. The coaches insisted that would not change the significance of today's game.
"Coaches better be intrigued and impressed with every team you are playing," Smith said. "It's like writing an article. You better give your best effort each time. Trust me, if it is Mississippi State, Eastern Kentucky, Santa Clara or UMass, you better bring your 'A' game or you will get your ass kicked."
Kentucky has won 19 of 24 games against Kansas, but the Jayhawks have won the last two meetings. "The last two games do not mean anything and the previous 22 don't (when it comes to today's game)," Kansas coach Bill Self said.
However, Self does know a win over his top-seeded Jayhawks, who had lost in the first round in two straight years before beating Niagara on Friday, would be a big one for Kentucky. "It goes to show you what kind of program Kentucky has when you are 22-11 and people say what is wrong and the sky is falling," Self said. "I don't know if one game can really make a season, but I know for them it would be big in regards to them not having the kind of year people are accustomed to."
Bradley fans: Garrard County attorney Jeff Moss brought his two sons here to watch Kentucky play in the tournament. After Friday's game, they ran into Bradley in the team hotel.
"He stopped, knelt down and spent time with the boys," Moss said Saturday. "He even asked them if they had a good time at the game.
"It was not what I expected at all from him with him being from New York. He signed autographs, took pictures and was just great with my boys. I doubt that they will ever forget it since this was their first time to see a game outside of Rupp Arena."